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December 2012 Archives

Influential judge advocates for shorter sentences

One of the nation's most influential judges recently spoke out on the subject of incarceration-related sentencing. His position on the subject came to light in a concurrence written in relation to a case involving a defendant sentenced to 50 years for a sex crime.

Man gets 5 years probation but 15 as registered sex offender

Even if one is able to get charges reduced in a sex crimes case by agreeing to a plea agreement, it's important to remember that registering as a sex offender can have long-lasting effects, including hurting your ability to find a place to live or work. This could happen to an Afton, Wisconsin, man, who pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

Reexamining Wisconsin's marijuana laws

On Election Day, two Western states decided to legalize the recreational use of marijuana under certain circumstances. Rather than locking up increasingly significant numbers of our population for relatively minor drug crimes that disproportionately affect youth and minorities, Midwestern states might want to consider doing the same. The issue of marijuana legalization is complicated and politically charged. But it is at least worth serious contemplation.

Holiday stress and increased rates of domestic violence

For those Wisconsin residents who have restraining orders in place against them, it is important to know that the holidays can be a tempting time to violate those orders. But however well-meaning you may be in wanting to reach out to those outlined in a protective order, you need to refrain from doing so for several reasons.

New bills to be introduced in Wisconsin regarding repeat DUIs

The idea that a person may only make a given mistake once is fairly idealistic. In truth, humans tend to make the same mistakes again and again; not necessarily because they are stubborn or foolish, but simply because it may take more than one misstep to learn a lesson. Unfortunately, some mistakes are more costly than others. And in the case of DUI repeat offenders, Wisconsin lawmakers have lost what little patience they still retained.

Federal agency recommends tougher DUI sentencing nationally

Wisconsin has some pretty tough sentencing guidelines for those who are convicted of drunk driving. But a strong recommendation from federal regulators could make Wisconsin's DUI penalties even more stringent than they are now.

Anti-bullying laws may be leading to higher juvenile crime rates

Over the last few years, school administrators and state legislators have placed a greater emphasis on the prevention of bullying in school, including "cyber-bullying." In some states, new legislation has even designated bullying and cyber-bullying as a crime.

'Booze and Belts' campaign means more patrols on Wisconsin roads

We often write about the increased enforcement campaigns that occur around various holidays throughout the year. Wisconsin law enforcement ramped up anti-drunk-driving enforcement just a couple weeks ago to coincide with the Thanksgiving weekend.

Former Brewers pitcher gets domestic violence charges dismissed

Former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Francisco Rodriguez had his domestic battery charges dismissed recently because the Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel could not meet the burden of proof for the case to continue.

Teen brain development and juvenile crime

A Temple University expert named Laurence Steinberg is convincingly advocating for reform of the juvenile justice system based on recent neurological research on adolescent brain development. His core argument is that young people who commit juvenile crime should be held accountable, but not necessarily in the ways the system attempts to do so currently.

Adultery is still considered a felony in Wisconsin

Media coverage of the sex scandal involving former general David Petraeus has shed light on a little-understood crime: adultery. In most states adultery remains a private issue between married partners. But in others, the act of cheating on one's spouse is basically considered a sex crime. In some states, adultery is treated as a misdemeanor. But in five other states - Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Idaho, Michigan and Wisconsin, adultery is categorized as a felony.

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